Posts Tagged ‘The Grange of Prince Edward County’

Top tips for your next visit to The County

Posted by Debbie

Monday, March 21st, 2016
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Prince Edward County…if you haven’t been…Start the car! Make a point to book a family vacation, play hooky and spend a long weekend or make a day of it. The County awaits!  To compile the 100+ things to do, I asked the locals and tourist for their tips. I was overwhelmed by the response….and as I write this article, more recommendations are flooding my inbox…and I will add updates to keep this list up to date.

101 Things (or more) to do in Prince Edward County

pec map for FBI have to admit that I haven’t done ALL the things on this list, but certainly plan to jump in my car soon! For starters… I always recommend getting off Highway 401 and taking the Glenora Ferry. This free ferry ride is less than 10 minutes (check the departure schedule). Mark my words, this ride will reset your pace to ‘County time’. Breathe in the fresh air, enjoy being surrounded by water and get the welcoming 2 fingered wave from the ferry driver as you arrive.

Water all around

Be baffled by the geography of Lake on the Mountain. This unique body of water is one of Ontario’s natural wonders defying geographical and geological theories. Ponder its mystery over a drink at the Miller House Café and Brasserie…you can stay overnight here too!

Parks & beaches too

water-sandbanks-FOSPrince Edward County is synonymous for Sandbanks Provincial Park (photo at right), yet, there are many more beaches to discover: Wellington Beach and Park, North Beach Provincial Park, Westlake Beach. Switch from white sand to smooth pebbles and wander along Little Bluff Beach.

 

Old barns

Check out some great old barns at The Old ThirdClosson ChaseKarlo EstatesThe Grange of Prince Edward County and Hinterland Winery.

Traveling with Savvy Company

Places to stay – oh so many!

Clarmont Inn & Spa, Merrill Inn, The Drake Devonshire, Waring House, Angeline’s Inn, The Manse Boutique Inn. All of these places have gourmet restaurants too – book a reservation to make sure you get a spot!

Where to dine

Sample County wines at many of the restos including East & MainBlumen Garden & The Agarian

Visit Angeline’s Inn in Bloomfield & pick up some of their neat postcards with historical photos of The County in years gone by. While you are there, book your reservation for lunch or dinner at The Hubb Eatery & Lounge. You will definitely make delicious memories here!

Craving a pizza? There are several wineries that have a wood oven pizza place including Norman Hardie Winery – the perfect place for pizza and a Pinot Noir (try saying that fast!)

Spend Sunday morning at the Sunday Market at 106 Bridge or brunch made by Chef Michael Hoy. And in the afternoon, enjoy live jazz & al fresco dining on the patio at Huff Estates Winery.

Cuddle baby lambs & explore forest trails to walk off the amazing meal of farm to table cuisine enjoyed at Windhover County – a 140 year old Victorian Farm that has been transformed into a boutique inn.

Take a break from gourmet meals and make your way to the Lighthouse Restaurant at the Picton Harbour Inn – a popular local hot spot for breakfast – best sausages ‘n eggs, mile high pancakes &french toast in town.

…or nibble

Top places for treats & tea: The Vic Café, The Pink Lunch Pail Bakery, Tall Poppy Café, Miss Lily’s

Hands down the best old fashioned doughnuts are at Schroedter’s Farm Market Bakery & Cafe. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, a bowl of homemade soup&sandwiches will hit the spot. There are great gluten free goodies too.

Take a break from visiting wineries and stop in to visit the Pyramid Ferments Gut Hut. A wide variety of artisan made Sauerkrauts, Kimchis and Kombuchas – all using seasonal ingredients – are made in small batches.

Have you tried Maple Cheddar from Black River Cheese Factory?

Nightlife

Think there’s no nightlife in The County? Ha! You haven’t been to the movies at Mustang Drive-In on County Road 1.

Picton’s Main street has got it all. At The Regent Theatre, check out the list of movies, live musical performances & special talks as well as the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival. While you are there, snap a selfie with Sir John A Macdonald. His statue is located in front of the Armory.

Best view in town

The locals share this secret: enjoy the view of Picton from the Millenium Lookout – access it from County Road 22

Ice cream’s finest

Cave in…have ice cream at Slickers County Ice Cream in Bloomfield, stop in at Black River Cheese Factory or the locals hot spot is Cones & Shakes in Picton

Love museums?

Here is a ‘hit list’- Mariner’s Park Museum in South Bay, Rose House Museum in Waupoos, Wellington Historical Museum, Macauly Heritage Park and Ameliasburgh Pioneer Village

Wines, beers, ciders…and more

Pop into The County Canteen– Picton’s first brew pub – stop in for a flight of craft beers. The Acoustic Grill is a great place to see local bands.

Meet the dogs & owners at Three Dog Winery. In the summer they do yoga in the vineyard (the owners that is!) and XC ski parties too.

Ever been to a speakeasy? Click here to find where X marks the spot.

Pop the cork & taste some of the best Canadian-made sparkling wines at HinterlandHuff Estates, The GrangeBy Chadsey’s Cairns Lighthall Vineyards.

County Cider tasting June 2015Calling all cider lovers! You’ll want to hit these places for hard ciders made with County grown apples: The County Cider Co. (in photo at left), Bergeron Estate Winery & Cider House, and Clafeld Fruit

Head down at harvest and join in picking grapes at Sandbanks WineryHalf Moon Bay Winery Broken Stone – something that the entire family can do.

Chat with Bryan at Keint-He Winery.  He’ll help you pronounce that!

An open invitation to everyone! Brett French – the brewer at Barley Days Brewery – gives anyone reading this an invitation to drop by to sample his beers…ask for him and he will give you the skinny on how he makes each. And County Road Beer Co. just opened, so be sure to stop in here too!

Prince Edward County is known as a wine region, yet there is a distillery – 66 Gilead – that is neat place to visit & try their Canadian Pine Vodka, Loyalist Gin, rums & whiskies too.

Want some exercise? 

A local favorite bike ride is along Big Island Road following the beach on the northeast shore of Prince Edward County as well as along the Loyalist Parkway (Highway 33).

Drive or bike along the Barn Quilt Trail. There are over 100 barnswith painted quilts – neat!

Get running! The day after the annual Terroir Wine & Farmers Market Festival, get your shoes on to do the 10 km Terroir Run that winds through wineries along the way. The Wellington Women’s Half Marathon in June (complete with firemen handing out water along the route!) In October, The County Marathon is a great way to explore the backroads.

…and there is still more!

Lavender Farm by DT June 7 2015See a sea of purple at the Prince Edward County Lavender Farm. Tip: plan to visit the Lavender Festival or stop in when the plants are in bloom in mid to late June. Take photos in the gardens, learn how lavender is harvested & the oil is made. If you are lucky – stay at the B&B there too.

Play life size chess in the vineyard at Casa Dea Estates Winery.

The locals raved about –Birdhouse City with over 100 birdhouses of reproductions of historic buildings, whimsical designs & other recognizable structures.

A sign that will make you laugh as you drive by:Dead People’s Stuff Antiques.

Lose yourself flipping through neat books at Books & Company or the cool consignment shop – City Revival – on Main Street in Picton.

 

OenoGalleryToo many galleries to visit in one weekend! Some to make sure to visit: Oeno Gallery (photo at right courtesy of Oeno Gallery) Huff Estates Winery, Love Nest Studios. Follow the Arts Trail to discover incredible local artists along the way.

Crazy about airplanes? Lock-Sloy (aka Camp Picton) is one of Canada’s last intact 1940 British Commonwealth Air Training sites. Driving through here, it is easy to imagine what this place was like in the hay day.

If lighthouses are your ‘thing’, then make sure to visit Point Petre and South Bay Lighthouse – bring some local wine & cheese to have a picnic.

If vintage cars are your ‘thing’, then plan your trip to Prince Edward County to take in the Street Meet in early August. It is a blast reliving the past at this annual car show with over 200 classic cars come from all corners of Ontario and Quebec.

Karlo bridgeVisit North America’s largest dry stone bridge (in photo at right) at Karlo Estates – made by the winery owner & friends. A great place for a family photo or a picnic.

Sit on the porch at a B&B or your weekend cottage and read Geoff Heinrick’s book A Fool & Forty Acres all about the hard work of getting a vineyard planted in The County.

Take a cooking class at From the Farm. Tell Cynthia that we say hi!

Festivals galore

wine festivalFestivals that will give you a taste of The County: Maple in the County in March, then in May – Terroir where winemakers and artisan food producers are all under one roof. The Great Canadian Cheese Festival in June is a weekend of 100% Canadian artisan cheese (and wine and beer too).

TASTE – Community Grown in September (in photo at left) celebrates the harvest with local wines, ciders and farm fresh goodies. Join the fun at Wassail – a pre-Christmas festival where you sing for your drink. Check www.visitthecounty.ca for a comprehensive calendar.

Dining delight – Countylicious – twice a year, 8 restos offer a prix fixe culinary celebration for $30 or $35 plus grats & tax.

Red White & Blues festival at Rosehall Run features music in the vineyard.

PosterCool Collectibles

Collect a couple or all 8 of the cool County Posters with neat illustrations of all corners of Prince Edward County to remind you of the fun discoveries you had on your County getaway (photo attached –credit illustration by Marc Keelan-Bishop).

Sisters Jane Rutter & Susan Felton have brought pieces of history & heritage memorabilia back to life at the cool shop called Cannery Row.

Local produce abounds

In the summer, stop by one of many veggie stands – Laundry FarmsHagerman FarmsCherryvale Organic Farm & Vicki’s Veggies.

Stop in at Highline to grab a box of their gourmet mushrooms.

Only have time for a quick visit?

Go to the brand new The Local Store where all kinds of County treasures, artists & food stuffs are under one roof…in a heritage Loyalist barn.

Send us your tips on PEC!

As you can see, there are oodles of things to do in The County. While only 2 hours from Toronto or 3 hours from Ottawa, it is a place where you can really switch off! In fact, there are over 1000 places where you will probably lose cell phone reception.

Have fun as you discover Prince Edward County & email us with your favorite spots!
Debbie

 

Can’t get away?  Don’t worry….The County is coming to Ottawa!

Prep for your road trip by attending County in the Capital. Meet the makers from 20+ wineries, cideries, breweries &artisan food producers – all from The County. This is a unique opportunity to Taste & Buy your new favorites

County in the Capital picEvent Details:

Date: Wednesday April 20th
Time: 7 to 9pm
Place: Ottawa City Hall
Entry: Advance Tickets only: $55 (bring a friend for $5)
www.countycomes2ottawa.eventbrite.ca

This article was written by Savvy Sommelier Debbie Trenholm & will be featured in Ottawa Life Magazine on May 22.

 

 

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Hop on the Savvy Bus to Terroir Festival & Prince Edward County

Posted by Amanda

Friday, April 24th, 2015
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Join our Savvy Sommeliers for a day discovering Prince Edward County on Saturday May 8.  The Savvy Bus is back by popular demand & we’re making it easy for you to enjoy a day out in The County with a Sommelier as your tour guide.

It’s a Road-trip!

terroir2011v4.cdrSit back & relax in our luxury coach as we explore the backroads of Prince Edward County.  We will stop in Picton to take in Terroir Wine & Farmers Market to discover all of the great wines & foods under one roof at the historic Crystal Palace. Many County wineries will introduce their new spring releases & pair their wines with locally made gourmet foods right before your eyes!

Your Savvy Bus Tour will continue as we visit The County’s only craft brewery – Barley Days Brewery for a taste of something different.  Then to top it all off, dinner will be served in the vineyard at Casa-Dea Estates.

It will be a fun day meeting the dynamic people who are involved in the growing reputation of ‘The County’.

Advance Booking Only

Savvy Special: $149 (regular $165)

Price includes absolutely everything!
– Roundtrip transportation in a luxury coach
– Sommelier guides
– Admission to Terroir Wine & Farmers Market
– Winery and brewery tours
– Dinner in the vineyard
– and…good ol’ HST

Only 10 spots left! Book your seat on the bus >>

The Master Plan…

5 team members standing-001The Savvy Bus will depart downtown Ottawa at 8am from the Ottawa Marriot (100 Kent St). We will pick up passengers at Starbucks in Pinecrest Mall & Starbucks on Princess Street (near the 401) in Kingston.

We are aiming to arrive at Terroir Wine & Farmers Market by 11:30am.

Check out this long list of participating vendors who will WOW you with their locally-produced food & wine. Local wineries include:

Broken Stone Winery
By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery & Vineyard
Casa-Dea Estates Winery
Closson Chase Winery
Devils Wishbone Winery
Half Moon Bay Winery
Harwood Estate Vineyards
Hillier Creek Estates
Huff Estates Winery
Karlo Estates
Keint-he Winery & Vineyards
Lacey Estates Winery
Lighthall Vineyards & Lighthall Cheese
Norman Hardie Winery & Vineyard
Rosehall Run Winery
Sandbanks Winery
Sugarbush Vineyards
Thirty Three Vines Winery

Learn while you Taste…

There will be 3 fun & informative sessions on during the day – including a blind wine tasting hosted by our own Debbie Trenholm as well as these seminars:

Everything You Need To Know About Growing Heirloom Tomatoes

If you have a small back yard garden or deck or  balcony… you can grow heirloom tomatoes. Vicki Emlaw will answer any questions you have and a selection of good old fashioned tasting tomato plants will be available for sale.

What Kind of Cool Are You?

Join The Cellar Sisters in an exploration of cool-climate Chardonnay and determine your “kind of cool” – crisp, fruity, rich or smooth. Blind taste four different PEC Chardonnays and select the one style which appeals to you most. Learn about each wine and receive a handout detailing all the unique Chardonnay available at Terroir for tasting and purchase so you can continue seeking out your “kind of cool” throughout the afternoon!

Compelled to Can

Bree Seeley advocates that preserving food is more than a twee hobby, it is a dynamic practice that powerfully shapes the identity of our regional cuisine. Preserving food allows cooks to fortify a commitment to Ontario terroir and asserts a role in supporting more sustainable food networks. The delicious results create unique contours in meals and hospitality. Join Bree as she outlines how enthusiasm for robust flavours gives way to a fulsome pantry and colourful year-round Ontario eating.

And the bus goes on…

Barley Days logoAt 2:30pm, we will roam the country roads bound for Barley Days Brewery for a tour & tasting, then onwards to Casa-Dea Estates where we will be treated to a dinner surrounded by vineyards. By 8:30pm, the coach will depart for Ottawa.

Paul Battliana Casa-DeaThis schedule gives you time to enjoy all of the activities at Terroir, see the picturesque countryside & discover The County’s only brewery followed by a delicious dinner with Casa-Dea’s winemaker Paul Battliana (in photo at left) who MacLeans Magazine has named as ‘One to Watch’ in Canada.

Bonus! A Savvy Sommelier will be on the coach with you offering wine tips, telling you stories about Prince Edward County & answering any ‘County’ questions you may have along the way.

 

Everyone is welcome to join us on this road-trip!
Book your seat on the bus >>

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If I had $100…I would buy these wines at Vintages…

Posted by Susan

Friday, September 12th, 2014
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If you’re a lover of Ontario wines, as many of our Savvy Selections subscribers are, you’ll be delighted with the September 13 LCBO Vintages releases, which showcases the diversity of terroir and wines across the province.

Vintages magazine Sept 13 2014

State of the Art in Ontario

This billion-dollar industry has come into its own over the last 30 years, and we’ve been contributing to it! Most Ontario wine is consumed in Canada, and the shift in consumer tastes away from spirits to dry table wine can only accelerate the growth of the industry.

Old Vines, Part of Our Heritage

The province’s wine industry is located at approximately the same latitude as Burgundy, so we can ripen most Vitis vinifera grapes – Paul Bosc Sr. was one of the first to demonstrate this at Château des Charmes, where the first vines were planted in 1978 – and produce a range of wine styles, from crisp sparkling wines, such as The Grange of Prince Edward County Sparkling Riesling and Peller Estates Ice Cuvée Rosé, through off-dry and dry white or red wines to the iconic ice wine that reintroduced the Canadian wine industry to the world, represented in this release by Château des Charmes’  beautifully crafted ‘Estate Bottled’ Vidal Icewine.

Nature & Nurture

There’s a particular focus in this Ontario feature on the Cabernet Franc grape, which ripens particularly well in Niagara.  Used in Bordeaux blends, and produced as a single varietal wine in the Chinon and Bourgeuil appellations in France, Cabernet Franc has come into its own in Canada’s wine regions. The Ontario feature includes great examples from such producers as Peller Estates, Southbrook, Tawse and Thirty Bench (its Red is built around Cabernet the Cabernet grapes).

Taste the Place

I have visited Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore several times, and usually make at least one annual pilgrimage to Niagara. It never ceases to amaze me how many new wineries are sprouting from the soil, how successful the well-established ones are, and how many wine lovers are stopping in to taste the wines, meet the winemakers, and take home a selection of wines. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to visit one of the regions in person, take advantage of this Vintages release to put together your own tasting party of Ontario wines!

Taste 2011For a real-life taste, come to TASTE 2014.  Come & meet some of the region’s finest chefs, winemakers, beer, spirits and cider masters. Sample the best gourmet food from top local restaurants and artisan food producers. Buy fresh produce and VQA wines in our farmer’s market. Come to Prince Edward County and see why TASTE Community Grown is Eastern Ontario’s most anticipated culinary event of 2014.

Tuscany’s Third Pillar – again

There’s always a secondary feature in the Vintages release, and this one will appeal to lovers of Sangiovese, specifically the Prugnolo gentile clone that is used in the production of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.  This wine is designed for aging and is known for its firm structure, dark fruit and earthy character. Five producers are represented in the release – take your pick!

And, of course, there are some great values to be had in the general release, a couple of which are included in the selection below.

Cheers,
Susan
susan@savvyselections.ca
Sources:  The Ontario Wine Industry: Provincial Policy at a Crossroads, Pelling & Hira

 

If I had $100, I would buy these wines at LCBO Vintages…

September 13, 2014 

 

Flat Rock RieslingFlat Rock Cellars Riesling 2013

VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario
$16.95 (Vintages 43281) 11.0% alcohol

Fabulous aromas of peach, nectarine, pear, lime and some mineral notes lift from the class of this off-dry white wine. It’s a masterpiece of balance, showcasing a beautifully crisp texture juxtaposed to round, well-ripened fruit flavours and that subtle mineral character. It’s juicy and flavourful to the last drop! Sip well chilled paired with soft cheeses on a warm autumn afternoon.

 

Talmard Macon UchizyMallory & Benjamin Talmard Mâcon-Uzichy 2012

AOC Mâcon-Uzichy, France
$16.95 (Vintages 733956) 13.0% alcohol

This classic white wine of southern Burgundy combines stone and orchard fruit aromas with the scent of sweet woodruff and smoke. Dry, medium bodied, it’s ripe round texture is perfectly matched to a fine seam of acidity. Flavours of apple and lemon-lime dance on the palate, garnished with a touch of toasted nut. Well balanced and absolutely lovely, it’s a match for lemon roast chicken or your choice of seafood. 

 

13th Street Cabernet Merlot13th Street Cabernet/Merlot 2012

VQA Creek Shores, Ontario
$19.95 (Vintages 56598) 13.5% alcohol

Dense and inky, this red wine blend offers lovely aromas of ripe dark fruit, earthy notes and hints of lavender and dried herbs. Dry, medium-full bodied, it’s polished tannins and tangy texture harmonize with dark berry and plum. There’s depth and intensity here, spice and smoky toast complementing the fruit on the extended finish. Enjoy with grilled red meats.

 

Chakana Cabernet SauvignonCkakana ‘Yaguaraté Collection’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 

Mendoza, Argentina
$13.95 (Vintages #663161) 14.5% alcohol

Ripe aromas of black currant, spice, toast and licorice lift from the glass of this appealing, full-bodied varietal wine. It offers a warm welcome, round mouth feel, soft tannins and generous ripe fruit accented by spice and tasty notes of coffee bean. This red wine is a crowd-pleaser with a pleasantly dry finish, it’s a great value and made for barbequed meats.

 

Dominio Cepas Viejas MenciaDominio de Tares ‘Cepas Viejas’ Mencia 2009

DO Bierzo, Spain
$29.95 (Vintages #379891) 14.5% alcohol

Subtle aromas—cherry, berry, leather, meaty notes, spice and vanilla—tantalize the nose and offer a well-rehearsed intro to the velvety, round texture of this captivating old-vines wine. It’s produced from Mencia, a grape native to Spain’s northwest and shown, through DNA testing, to be related to a grape native to Portugal.

Dry, combining finesse and power, it showcases great intensity and depth of fruit, a well-defined, refined structure, and the complexity of French and American barrel aging. The dry finish offers warmth and great length. Just fabulous, treat yourself to a bottle and you’ll enjoy tasting this wine before a dinner built around rare grilled meats. 

 

GRAND TOTAL: $97.75

 

 

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Like Father…like Son…2 become winemakers!

Posted by Eva

Monday, August 18th, 2014
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club 
Featuring Stanners Vineyard

– August 2014 –

 

Have you been to Prince Edward County lately?  On your next trip, promise me that you will drop in to visit this month’s feature winery Stanners Vineyard. Located ‘at the top’ of the winery map not far off Hwy 401 at the Trenton exit, the winery is perfectly situated to be your first stop into Prince Edward County or last stop enroute home.  Mark my word…the visit with winery owner & winemaker Colin Stanner & a tasting of his wines will make your County trip complete.

In a life previous to this, both Cliff (father) and Colin (son) Stanners were research scientists: Cliff has a PhD in physical chemistry and Colin a PhD in cell & molecular biology.  The two also had considerable experience in winemaking before embarking on the adventure of owning a vineyard & winery.  In Montréal, Cliff was a force to be reckoned with in an amateur winemaking club.  In the meantime, Colin and his wife (Mary) moved to California in the 1990’s where he took an Intro to Oenology (winespeak: the science & study of all aspects of wine & winemaking) course at the highly acclaimed University of California –  Davis Campus (aka UC Davis)  learning about wines of the world & winemaking basics.

 The attraction of Pinot Noir

Much experimentation ensued in Colin’s basement small-scale winery where he converted local California grapes into well respected wine.  Both Colin & Cliff saw the potential of making high quality wine from Pinot Noir grapes in Prince Edward County (recently named the 4th ‘Designated Viticulture Area’ in Ontario).  While Cliff neared retirement, the father & son team were primed for a new adventure.  They made the leap to turn their passion for nature & premium wine into reality.  The result rivals French Burgundy wines but their goal is not to imitate but bring forth the beauty of the minerality that is characteristic of Prince Edward County wines.

In your Savvy Selections, you will find:

2012 Chardonnay VQA Lincoln Lakeshore $25 – buttery caramel that then turns smoky with a flinty minerality cutting through.  At 15%, you might think it too much but think again.  Stanners Chardonnay is exquisite. I have said it before…I dream of this Chardonnay.

2010 Pinot Noir VQA Ontario $30 –  This is textbook minerality from Prince Edward County in a Burgundian-style Pinot Noir.  Chill this slightly as you would an elegant & delicate Beaujolais-style Gamay.

2010 Cabernet Franc VQA Prince Edward County $25  – WOWza! The aromas leap out of the glass: ripe dark fruit, baking spices, rose and black liquorice.  This will keep in the cellar but let’s be honest….can you really wait?

Award-winning wines …

Stanners Vineyard bottlesStanners Pinot Noir is the most critically acclaimed wine of their portfolio.  The 2010 garnered a Silver medal and judges ranked it right up there amongst the Top 4 Pinot Noirs in Canada!  The Royal Winter Fair voted it the best wine of the show.

And you heard it first…here, WineAlign’s National Wine Awards of Canada announced that Stanners 2011 Pinot Noir VQA Four Mile Creek was awarded Silver in the category of Red Wines & 2012 Chardonnay VQA Lincoln Lakeshore won a Bronze medal.

Where to find Stanners wines?

Similar to other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections, Stanners wines are not on the LCBO shelves. If you would like additional bottles of your favourite Stanners wine – or other featured Ontario wineries – just give me a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca to arrange an additional delivery for you. It is always my pleasure to introduce you to wonderful new Ontario wines!

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

 

Introducing…
Stanners Vineyard

Presented by Sommelier Éva Nagy

 

Colin and his wife, Mary, moved to California in the 1990’s.  Armed with an UC Davis introductory course in general wines of the world & winemaking basics, Colin visited wineries at harvest time to bring home grapes to his basement mini-winery.  He learned by making wine & making mistakes.  He experimented with full cluster fermentation with stems, even ripe stems, resulting in very astringent tannins (think of a mouth-drying sensation like over-steeped black tea).

Stanners Vineyard vinesMeanwhile, Colin’s father Cliff discovered the Hillier area in Prince Edward County (PEC) on a cycling trip.  Cliff & Colin visited and looked at properties & wineries in this area near Trenton.  After lots of research – they are scientists afterall – they chose a property that borders on an environmentally-protected bird area with lots of wildlife.

Their extensive research continued as they tasted wines from neighbouring wineries – By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery, Grange of Prince Edward, Rosehall Run, and Norman Hardie – to learn more about the distinct County minerality.  The father & son team sought advice from Mike Peddlesden, a key figure in PEC wine industry, and Dan Taylor for economic development. Through this research process they recognized the incredible potential of The County & they were excited to become part of it.

So it begins …

In 2003, they purchased the 25 acre property that would become Stanners artisanal, family-owned & operated vineyard & winery.  In the fall of 2004, all hands were on deck to grab a hoe or shovel to help prepare the land for planting in the spring of 2005.  Pinot Noir vines were growing by 2007 but the grapes were not ready to sell until the harvest of 2009.  Then the grand opening of the winery happened at the end of 2010. Ever since their opening we have been contacting them inquiring if they were ‘ready’ to be featured in Savvy Selections.  All of us in the Savvy Team are delighted to introduce you to their wines this month.

Colin Stanner in his vineyardCliff & Colin (pictured on right) sought advice of many people before building their winery.  Their Barrel & Tasting Room are constructed of straw bale which is highly insulated & keeps a constant temperature in a very eco way.  Digging a cave was not an option due to the great amount fractured limestone.  You can actually see this in different parts in the vineyard: the high spots are full of rock, the low spots have less.  This very limestone is perfect for Pinot Noir & Chardonnay.  Their roots have to dip deep through the fractured rock to produce concentrated wines.

Of the 25 acre property, 18,000 vines are intentionally planted densely into 7 to 8-1/2 acres … the number of vines would fit closer to others’ 18 acres.  The first acre was planted 4-1/2 feet between the rows and 3 feet between the plants (not unlike Burgundy France).  They really have to hedge down & keep on top of the canopy.  Now the Stanners plant 6 feet between the rows.  This helps greatly with airflow and the reduction of disease.  As you can imagine, these scientists have good reasoning for this approach.

Colin hopes to make Pinot Noir from parcels of land.  IN his lab, he will make the wines separately then compare results.  Depending on his findings, he may blend them or he may not.  All along, his focus is to really show the characteristics of the grapes & vineyard, to make every sip rewarding & different from the last.  He says, “It’s a matter of not trying to influence it too strongly.  Not hitting it over the head with oak.”

The difference between California grapes and those grown in PEC is the Brix level (winespeak: the natural sugar content of the grape).  In California, grapes had to be so ripe (at 24-25 Brix) to get flavour.  In The County, it takes comparatively only 20 brix to develop phenolic (physiological) ripeness at a much earlier rate.  For now, Stanners produce 1000 cases per year.  The goal is 1500 cases as they grow bigger. This is considered very small by Ontario wine industry standards.

The little things that get done …

”The magic lies in how the grapes are handled from vine to bottle,” explains Colin.  “The grapes are hand-picked into small flat picking bins.  Next the whole berries go into the de-stemmer.  No crushing throughout the winemaking process”.  Pinot Noir & Cabernet Franc go directly into the fermentation bin where whole berries sit longer & at lower temperature than usual.  The must is punched-down by hand then goes into a gentle bladder press.

Stanners Vineyard bottlesAt this time of the year, you will find Colin in the vineyard & working on Pinot Gris in the winery.  There will be only 85-90 cases of this popular, pinkish-salmon coloured beauty.  They will be grabbed up quickly so get it while you can by calling the Savvy Team to arrange a delivery.

“It is somewhat of a quiet time in the vineyard right now.” states Colin.  “Measurements are done, leaf-pulling is all done, the weeds have stopped.  It is the calm before the storm where we have a week or so to relax before we hit the ground running with harvest.”

At the end of August, picking parties will begin.  Although a date is not set, they plan a barrel-racing event with hobby horses.  You will definitely see me at Stanners harvest party/parties most likely the 1st & 2nd weeks of October (a little later than usual).  I am so excited at the thought of picking followed by lunch & wine.  Hope to see you there!

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections!


~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

2012 Chardonnay VQA Lincoln Lakeshore, $25.00

The grapes are sourced from a single vineyard in the Lincoln Lakeshore sub-appellation in the Niagara Peninsula.  When you have a look at the label, it may surprise you that this Chardonnay is 15% abv (alcohol by volume). So perfectly balanced between caramel & flinty smoky minerality that you won’t notice the high alcohol.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Buttery & concentrated caramel/butterscotch, ripe green apple & pear,  toasted coconut & wildflower honey.  But wait! … There’s that medium+ acidity & flinty minerality cutting through that full-bodied, buttery character.  As it warms up, white pepper, smoke & vanilla make their appearance.  The finish goes on and on and on….

Suggested Food Pairing: Stanners creamy-textured Chardonnay absolutely beckons Gravlax (recipe follows) or bagel & cream cheese with smoked salmon or trout (like they have at Supply and Demand restaurant in Ottawa), pan-seared scallops, classic French onion tart. The slight smokiness will lend itself to barbeque or roasted poultry as well.

 

2010 Pinot Noir VQA Ontario,$30.00

This is a blend of grapes from Prince Edward County (60%) and Lincoln Lakeshore (40%), hence the VQA Ontario on the label.  Bright, elegant & delicate with a Gamay-esque quality.  Our Savvy Sommeliers recommend to chill ever so slightly as you would a French Beaujolais.  Chilling for 10-15 minutes in the fridge will release the delicate & elegant aromas & flavours.  This is a very Burgundian-style Pinot with that distinctive County minerality we have been talking about since page 1!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:Decant or let age for a year or so & you will be greatly rewarded for your patience.  It’s coming up roses … the colour, the aroma & flavour.  Roses waft through ripe strawberries & pomegranate.

Suggested Food Pairing: Chill slightly like a French Beaujolais and serve with: duck confit grilled cheese served with cherry shiraz jelly & Bleu Elizabeth artisan cheese, decadent bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese,  prosciutto-wrapped figs stuffed with blue cheese; rustic paté, artisanal charcuterie, roast turkey or chicken. This Pinot Noir is very versatile.

 

2010 Cabernet Franc VQA Prince Edward County,$25.00

Ready for a completely different red wine? This one blew all of our Savvy Selections tasting panel away.  And at our recent All Canadian Wine Taste & Buy, some of our ‘loyal & regular’ Savvy Event attendees were tipping Debbie off about this wine.  “Try it & you’ll be amazed!” they promised.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:And no doubt, they were right…now we’re talking! Aromas & flavours of rip juicy fruit abound.  Chock-full of ripe black fruit, plum, cranberry, floral (think red roses), baking spices (think cinnamon or allspice) and good black liquorice. The acidity & tannins are well-balanced for drinking now or this wine will definitely age for a few years in your cellar.

Suggested Food Pairing:Spans the range of pairings from pulled pork & burgers to duck, cured meats and Creole-blackened fish.

 

~ RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS ~

 

With 2012 Chardonnay VQA Lincoln Lakeshore …

Easy Salmon Gravadlax (Gravlax)

From Jamie Oliver
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 heaped tablespoon dark soft brown sugar
25 mL vodka
sea salt
½ an orange zest from 2 lemons
a bunch of fresh dill
2 x 150 g salmon fillets, pinboned, skin on
4 tablespoons soured cream
1½ teaspoons jarred grated horseradish
extra virgin olive oil
1 x 250 g vacuum pack of beetroots
balsamic vinegar

Serve with 1 punnet of cress & a loaf of rye bread

Method

Place the sugar, vodka, 3 heaped tablespoons of salt, the orange zest and the zest from 1 lemon into a bowl. Pick the dill leaves and reserve in a bowl of cold water in the fridge, then finely chop the stalks and stir into the mixture so well combined. Pop the salmon fillets into the bowl, turning them over in the marinade until well coated, then cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 5 hours.

Meanwhile, make the horseradish sauce. Add the soured cream, grated horseradish and the juice from ½ a lemon to a small bowl. Mix well, season with a pinch of salt and add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, then place in the fridge until needed.

Add the beetroot (including the juices) to a bowl with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Season well with salt, then mash with a fork to a rough paste. Have a taste and add a splash more vinegar if you think it needs it, then set aside until needed.

After around 5 hours, remove the salmon from the bowl, then wipe off and discard any excess salt. Drain and finely chop the reserved dill leaves and rub all over the salmon. If you’re not serving straight away, sandwich the salmon together, with the skin-side outside and wrap in cling film, then return to the fridge, until needed.

To serve, remove the cling film and peel away the salmon skin, then transfer to a board and finely slice. Snip over the cress, then serve alongside the horseradish sauce, balsamic beets, rye bread and lemon wedges for squeezing over. I sometimes like to serve it with a shot of vodka on the side too. Enjoy!

Serve with horseradish sauce & beautiful beets.

 

With 2010 Pinot Noir VQA Ontario …

Duck Confit Grilled Cheese

From the Coffee Window

Ingredients

Duck Confit (recipe below)
whole grain bread
mildly nutty cheese like Emmenthal or Fontina

Method

You can use any basic recipe for duck confit (see below), and then, instead of preserving it, shred the meat, including the crisp skin. (If you are using duck confit made earlier or one that you buy, warm the meat up a bit in a sauté pan.)

Layer the duck onto a slice of nice sandwich bread; seven grain or whole wheat is a good choice.

Top with a few thin slices of a mildly nutty tasting cheese that melts well, like Emmenthaler or Fontina.

Top with the second slice of bread, and press down lightly.

Film a skillet with olive oil (butter burns too quickly), and get it hot (but not smoking) over medium heat.

Brown the sandwich on both sides, and lower the heat under the pan, letting the sandwich steam long enough to melt the cheese and get it all oozy.

Cut on the diagonal, and let ‘er rip.

 

Duck Confit

From Epicurious

Ingredients

3 tablespoons salt
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
6 sprigs thyme
Coarsely ground black pepper
4 duck legs with thighs
4 duck wings, trimmed
About 4cups duck fat

Method

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt in the bottom of a dish or plastic container large enough to hold the duck pieces in a single layer.

Evenly scatter half the garlic, shallots, and thyme in the container.

Arrange the duck, skin-side up, over the salt mixture, then sprinkle with the remaining salt, garlic, shallots, and thyme and a little pepper. You can cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days.

Preheat the oven to 225°F.

Melt the duck fat in a small saucepan & brush the salt and seasonings off the duck.

Arrange the duck pieces in a single snug layer in a high-sided baking dish or ovenproof saucepan. Pour the melted fat over the duck (the duck pieces should be covered by fat) and place the confit in the oven.

Cook the confit slowly at a very slow simmer — just an occasional bubble — until the duck is tender and can be easily pulled from the bone, 2-3 hours.

Remove the confit from the oven. Cool and store the duck in the fat. (The confit will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.)

Note: The duck fat can be strained, cooled and reused.

 

With 2010 Cabernet Franc VQA Prince Edward County …

Oven Braised Pork Shoulder with Apple Juice

About.com Southern Food
Serves 6 to 8 with leftovers

Ingredients

1 bone-in pork shoulder roast, about 6 pounds
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced or coarsely chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons of a seasoning blend for pork or chicken or salt and pepper
1 cup apple juice
1 to 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce

Method

Lightly grease a large covered Dutch oven or casserole.

Heat oven to 300°.

Put onions in the casserole.

Rub the pork with the seasoning blend or sprinkle generously with salt and pepper then place the roast on the onions and add apple juice.

Cover and bake for 5 hours, basting occasionally.

Remove the roast to a large platter and shred or chop the meat. Discard bones and fat. Strain the juices and put the solids back into the casserole or Dutch oven.

Discard the liquids and add the shredded or chopped pork.  Then add barbecue sauce and stir to blend ingredients. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

This is delicious served with macaroni and cheese or scalloped potatoes, or serve it in buns with pickles, slaw, and baked beans.

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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Another reason to head to Prince Edward County: Terroir Wine & Farmers Market

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
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Terroir is decanting once again for its 10th year to celebrate Spring! This anticipated annual event presented by Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association returns to the beautiful Crystal Palace in Picton, next Saturday – May 3rd, 2014

Just announced: Terroir is the first Wine sampling event & Farmers’ Market in Ontario licensed to sell VQA wines onsite. This means for the first time in Ontario, guests will be able to purchase wine while at the event, and take it home with them!

pec pix 1Bryan Rogers from Keinte-He Winery says, “This is a really great opportunity for people coming out next Saturday! They can try wines and then, for the first time ever, they can buy those wines right there and then and walk out the door with them. It’s an exciting time to be drinking Prince Edward County wines.”

The Grape Growers of Ontario and The Wine Council of Ontario have been working with The AGCO to allow VQA Wines for sale at Farmers markets and “it has finally happened” says festival organizer Scott Rondeau. “They [AGCO] are really trying to support the local wineries. It’s really great that they are showing so much support for local wines and allowing us to do this.”

“It is really good to see the government creating a new way to sell 100% Ontario wines. Farmers’ Market sales will be particularly helpful to the smaller wineries who don’t currently have a presence at the LCBO” says Richard Karlo of Karlo Estates.

Jump on the Savvy Bus!

Discover The County with the Savvy Sommeliers.  Enjoy Terroir to the fullest, $99 per person – includes round-trip transportation on a luxury coach, your ticket to Terroir, a visit to a County winery. . . or two!  The bus will depart from downtown Ottawa with pick-up stops enroute in west Ottawa as well as Kingston.

Reserve your spot now > >

So much awaits you at Terroir

wine tasting at TerroirMany County wineries will be sampling and selling their new spring releases and unique wines while pairing them with delicious gourmet food tastings. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the winemakers themselves, take part in seminars and demonstrations, enjoy live music, shop for baked goods, preserves, meats, sauces, veggies and more, while tasting some of Ontario’s finest wines.

With over 30 wineries, Prince Edward County has much to experience. The County was named one of the 14 Must-Visit Destinations of 2014 by enRoute magazine

A Wine & Cheese…with a TWIST

Debbie at TerroirOur Savvy Team of Sommeliers will be at Terroir.  Be sure to make time to join Wine Sommelier Debbie Trenholm & our Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons for their Wine & Cheese with a TWIST ‘seminar’.

During this half hour, sip & nibble as you learn about County wines & cheeses from the Savvy gals who are constantly visiting the backroads of The County.

 

 

Who will you meet at Terroir?

Featured Wineries

Broken Stone Winery
By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery & Vineyard
Casa Dea Estates Winery
Closson Chase Vineyards
Devil’s Wishbone Winery
The Grange of Prince Edward County
Half Moon Bay Vineyards
Harwood Estates Winery
Hillier Creek Estate Winery
Huff Estates Inn & Winery
Karlo Estates
Keint-He Winery & Vineyard
Lacey Estates Vineyard & Winery
Lighthall Vineyards
Norman Hardie Winery & Vineyard
Rosehall Run Winery
Sandbanks Estate Winery
Stanners Vineyard
Three Dog Winery
Thirty Three Vines Winery 

Participating Food Vendors

Niagara College Culinary Program
Urban Herb on the Curb
Picnic PEC
Empire Cheese
Agrarian Bistro & Speakeasy
East and MainIced Cupcakery 

Farmers’ Market Vendors

Humble Bread
Nyman Farms
Emerson Pringle Carpentry
Essential Relaxation
PEC Hot Sauce Co.
Thyme Again Garden
Portland Bridge Pickling Society
PEC FareVikki’s Veggies
Jo’s Backyard Doughs
Raw Food
Barking up the Green Tree
PEC Lavender Farm
County Cooperage Wine Vinegar
Scottish AccentsPink Lunch Pail 

Admission

The event’s $35 in advance ticket price includes all wine samples and three food pairings. Additional food items are available for purchase.

$40 at the door (subject to availability)

Tickets can be purchased at www.countyterroir.com

 

Hope to see you there!

Debbie & the Savvy Team

 

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Great Ontario wines, craft beers & ciders at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival

Posted by Debbie

Saturday, June 1st, 2013
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We are proud to be a returning sponsor for The Great Canadian Cheese Festival.  It is a delicious weekend discovering that Canada makes more than just cheddar.  Nosh & nibble on artisan cheeses, gourmet foods and wines too!

Yummy cheeses are best served with a glass (or two of wine), we created for the festival Savvy Sip & Shop – a new service that enables you to order ANY combination of wines, ciders or craft beers featured at the festival to be shipped directly to your home or office – within a week!  Most of the wines, ciders & beers are not available at the LCBO, so this is the best way to always have your favorites on hand.

Mix & match ANY featured wines, ciders & craft beers

With over 20 wineries, breweries and a cider too, it is a fun way to discover new favorite wines, ciders & craft beers made in Prince Edward County & Niagara too.   Order from Savvy Sip & Shop any of your favorites from The Great Canadian Cheese Festival and they will be delivered to your home or office – within a week!  Or here`s an idea: order an assortment of wine for a friend. We will ship anywhere in Ontario.  Order 12 or more bottles and shipping by courier is FREE.

Need a wine tip? Call on our Savvy Sommeliers to help recommend wines 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or email us on cheers@savvycompany.ca

 

Featured wines, craft beers & ciders:

 

Black Prince Winery

2011 Riesling $15.95

2010 Chardonnay $17.95

2010 Cabernet Franc Reserve $18.95

2010 Merlot VQA Prince Edward County $19.95

 

Casa-Dea Winery

2011 Dea’s Cuvée Sparkling $18.95

2009 Chardonnay Reserve $24.95

2010 Pinot Gris $18.95

2010 Gamay $15.95

2009 Cabernet Franc $18.95

 

Exultet Winery

2012 Cru X White Light $25.00

2010 Cru X Pinot Noir $29.95

2012 Vidal Icewine $26.00

 

Harwood Estate Vineyards

2011 Chardonnay $32.00

2011 Pinot Gris $18.00

2010 St. Laurent $20.00

2010 Pinot Noir $29.00

2011 Marquesa $29.00

2009 Just Desserts $25.00

 

Huff Estates Winery

2010 Cuvée Janine $24.95

2011 Riesling Off Dry $17.95

2010 South Bay Chardonnay $29.95

2012 Pinot Gris $19.95

2011 Pinot Noir $24.95

2011 South Bay Merlot $29.95
Karlo Estates

2010 Riesling $22.00

2010 Chardonnay CHOA $25.00

2011 Frontenac Gris Rosé $16.00

2012 Pinot Gris $21

2010 Cabernet Franc $24.00

2010 Merlot $24.00

2010 Pinot Noir $29.00

2010 Quintus $35.00

2010 VanAlstine White Port $29.00

2009 VanAlstine Red Port $29.00

 

Keint-He Winery

2009 Chardonnay $20.00

2011 Voyageur Rosé $15.00

2010 Pinot2 $20.00

2008 Pineaux Sauvage $25.00

 

Lacey Estates Vineyard

2011 Gewürztraminer Reserve $25.00

2010 Chardonnay $27.00

2012 Pinot Gris Pink Off Dry $25.00

2010 Baco Noir $20.00

2010 Pinot Noir $29.00

 

Lighthall Vineyards

2012 Progression Sparkling $20.00

2009 Chardonnay $25.00

2010 Chardonnay $25.00

2011 Gewürztraminer $25.00

2010 Pinot Noir $25.00

 

Long Dog Winery

2008 Bella Riserva Chardonnay $18.00

2009 Bella Riserva Chardonnay $22.00

2009 Otto Pinot Noir $24.00

2007 Otto Pinot Noir $30.00

2008 Top Dog Pinot Noir $24.00

2009 Top Dog Pinot Noir $30.00

 

Palatine Hills

2010 – 1812 Chardonnay $12.00

2010 Neufeld Vineyard Chardonnay $22.95

2012 – 1812 Merlot Cabernet $13.00

2010 Neufeld Vineyard Cabernet Franc $19.95

 

Redtail Vineyard

2011 Riesling $17.95

2012 Chardonnay $27.95

2010 Pinot Noir $28.95

 

Rosehall Run Vineyards

2010 Cabernet Franc Cuvée County $24.95

 

Sandbanks Estate Winery

2012 Dunes $12.95

2011 Riesling $14.95

2011 Gewürztraminer $16.95

2012 Sauvignon Blanc $16.95

2012 Rosé $12.95

2012 Baco Noir $14.95

2012 Dunes Red $14.95

2012 Cabernet Franc $14.95

2010 Baco Noir Reserve $19.95

2010 French Kiss (Cabernet Merlot) $24.95

2011 LOVE Cassis Aperitivo $14.95

 

Stanners Vineyard

2010 Chardonnay $25.00

2011 Chardonnay $25.00

2009 Cabernet Franc $22.00

2010 Pinot Noir $30.00

 

The Grange of Prince Edward County

2011 Estate Chardonnay Unoaked $15.95

2011 GPE Fumé Blanc $24.95

2009 Select Gamay Noir $15.95

2007 Diana Block Pinot Noir $34.95

 

Barley Days Brewery
Loyalist Lager

Harvest Gold Pale Ale

Wine & Sail Dark Ale

Mixed 6 bottle pack (2 bottles of each) $13.25

Mixed 24 bottle pack (8 bottles of each) $45.95

 

County Cider Company

Waupoos Premium Cider (4 x 341ml) $13.35

County Cider (1L) $7.85

Waupoos Peach Cider (1L) $9.95

Waupoos Feral Cider (1L) $9.95

Prince Edward Ice Cider (375ml) $29.95

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Sipping a little history of Prince Edward County

Posted by Susan

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring The Grange of Prince Edward Vineyard & Estate Winery
– May 2012 –

A visit to Prince Edward County wineries, or better yet next weekend’s, Terroir Wine Festival  is both an opportunity to taste wines, explore the vineyards and marvel at the historic restored buildings on site; a visit provides a Canadian history lesson too.

The County is one of the areas settled by United Empire Loyalists after the American Revolution. In 1972, Robert Granger purchased the 150-acre home farm on the original Trumpour family patent, including the mill which produced most of the lumber used in the historic barn (built in 1826) which houses The Grange of Prince Edward winery tasting room and barrel cellar.

History tells us that the Trumpour family arrived in Canada after the Revolution, driven from the Thirteen Colonies by their allegiance to the British Crown. Roughly 50,000 Loyalists emigrated, many from disbanded Loyalist regiments, and settled in the upper St. Lawrence valley. They brought with them their customs, British Law and land tenure, and representative government. After lobbying by the Loyalists, the British Parliament passed the Canada Act in 1791, effectively dividing Québec into Upper (Ontario) and Lower (Québec) Canada.

Building on the deep history of this property and region, Robert and his daughter Caroline Granger partnered in 2002 to establish one of the first wineries in the newly developing wine appellation of Prince Edward County (PEC).

Our Savvy Sommelier Susan Desjardins caught up with Caroline on a recent visit to the winery.  From your fist metting, Caroline exudes energy and enthusiasm as she guides you around the property and through the wine cellar and winemaking facilities. Although her father’s career was focused in Toronto, he purchased the property with the intention of giving his children the experience of growing up on a farm. Caroline spent her youth there, leaving at the age of 16 when she was whisked away to Paris and a modeling career that kept her in Europe for 10 years. This career eventually took her to the United States, where she married and began to raise her family. In 1997, she moved back to the farm, looking for a career that would allow her to spend more time with her three children.

Caroline recalls that one wet spring day, she helping plant grape vines at a nearby vineyard.  This prompted her to suggest to her father that they plant 10 acres to vines. “This place has always been a working farm. I saw the vineyard as a way to re-establish a viable, sustainable role for the property.” As part of a college course she was taking at the time, Caroline developed a business proposal to discuss with her father. With his agreement and support, she took the wine technician program at Loyalist College and, in 2001 the first vines were planted. Her initial harvest in 2003 produced Prince Edward County’s first Ontario award-winning wine, the Trumpour’s Mill 2003 Gamay Noir 2003.

Caroline’s vineyards and range of wines have expanded over the years, with a strong emphasis on Pinot Noir. We are delighted to showcase in this month’s Savvy Selections:
– Chardonnay VQA 2007– a creamy, well-balanced wine
– Diana’s Block Pinot Noir VQA 2007 – The Grange’s elegant premium Pinot Noir
– Northfield Cabernet Franc VQA 2007 – a complex wine that we think is ready to enjoy now or can be put in your cellar.

Stock up for the summer…

You won’t find these wines from The Grange at the LCBO.  So, if you found a new favorite wine and would like additional bottles, give me a call and I will take care of ordering more for you.  Simply, call me at 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) or sending me an e-mail at debbie@savvycompany.ca.

Cheers & Enjoy!
– Debbie & Savvy Team

 

The Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards & Estate Winery
Presented by Sommelier Susan Desjardins

 

Not only did Caroline Granger (left) learn about cell biology, fermentation processes and vineyard management at Loyalist College, she learned to drive a tractor and cultivate fields. She has maintained that hands-on approach through her tenure at The Grange. She exudes intensity as we sit in the tasting room on a cool spring day, discussing winemaking at The Grange and the challenges of viticulture in the County. “Did you know that over a 100-year horizon, PEC is only one degree Celsius cooler than Niagara? And in the summer, we’re actually one degree warmer.” She describes the Hillier area (where The Grange is located) as a bit of a “heat sink’; while they don’t benefit from the lake effect, the area has an advantage for ripening in the summer.

What did she learn that has proven true? “The main thing is that Pinot Noir from the County is extra-ordinary”. Other key factors: fans are essential in the vineyard to keep the frost off her vines. And vine spacing has also proven critical to her success. The fairly wide rows and vine spacing ensure a balanced crop load, provide the vines access to the nutrients they need, and permit higher canopies and more leaves to ensure better ripeness. These rows allow high hilling up because, yes, two canes on each vine are buried every fall to guard against freezing – “that’s 170,000 canes we buried in 2011”, remarks Caroline.

Her focus has always been on growing the best possible fruit, and now, with 60 acres under vine, she is able to produce estate-only wines. The vineyard spreads across six blocks, grown on shallow but fertile soils known as Hillier clay gravel. The Northfield block offers the deepest soils, at 36 inches. The underlying bedrock is limestone that fractures naturally, facilitating root growth and bringing a mineral quality to the wines. “When I started planting the vineyard, I focused on the varietals best suited to the alkaline soils we have, and those that would ripen early. So we started with Chardonnay, Gamay and Pinot Noir.” Pinot Noir is her passion, with 17 acres devoted to this varietal, used in sparkling wine, rosé and both The Grange and Trumpour’s Mill varietal wines. She’s added Pinot Gris, Riesling, Cabernet Franc (that you received this month) and an experimental block of Sauvignon Blanc, which is the longest ripening varietal. The first 12 acres were planted in 2001, an additional 32 acres established between 2002 and 2004, with the most recently planted vines dating from 2007.

The Grange’s initial production started small in 2003 at 1600. Now Caroline has her eye on producing 12,500 cases this year – organic growth that has allowed her to maintain a strong focus on style and quality.

Her role at the winery is definitely hands on, “I’m the vineyard manager, the winemaker, the CEO, the CFO . . . !” Asked how she became a winemaker, Caroline’s sense of humour ignites—‘Well, I started growing 150 tonnes of grapes!”. While she trained academically in college, with her first harvests she used consulting winemakers, working closely with them. “Winemaking is part art, part science. You start with the healthiest possible grapes, and then you create the best possible conditions for healthy fermentation, which include clean fruit, quick processing, carefully selected yeast strains, and ongoing monitoring through the vinification process.” Her daughter Maggie has started working with her in winemaking and is showing both talent and enthusiasm. While talking to Maggie as she guides us through a tasting, it’s clear she is actively involved in winery decisions, putting forward the research and rationale behind The Grange’s decision to continue using cork rather than migrating to Stelvin closures (winespeak: screwcaps). It’s definitely a family affair, with son Brandon (currently studying at Trent University) working in the tasting room over the summer, and youngest son Quinton the ‘IT wizard’.

With each visit to the winery, you will always find something new.  This summer, Maggie is leading an organic market garden to supply produce for the restaurant and the vineyard workers. Caroline has hired an all-female crew this year and plans to provide 3 healthy meals each day for her staff. “I want my workplace to be more accessible for women.” It is clear that Caroline never stands still!

Cheers & Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

~ Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes ~

Trumpour’s Mill Chardonnay 2007 VQA, $16.00

Chardonnay was among the first varietals planted on the Granger estate. A grape which lends itself to a range of styles, this exemplar is unoaked and displays the texture and complexity of extended lees contact.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Offering tantalizing aromas of jasmine, honeyed stone fruit, pear and mango, this is a balanced creamy yet dry wine, weighty with flavourful fruit and kissed with a touch of toasted nuts. It finishes slightly warm and gently spiced.

Suggested Food Pairing: Enjoy this wine with pasta in a cream-based sauce, with crab cakes or lobster, or with savoury roast chicken.

Cellaring:  Delightful now or over the next couple of years!

 

Diana’s Block Pinot Noir 2007 VQA, $35.00

Produced from the fruit of a vineyard planted in 2001 and named after Caroline’s mother, the driving force behind the well-kept grounds, this wine is produced only in years of exceptional fruit. Hand tended and pruned, hand sorted, aged in French barriques (winespeak: small oak barrels), only the best barrels are included in this limited production release. This is a very special wine.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: “Oh my, oh my, it’s hard to stop sniffing and savouring the enticing aromas”, remarks Susan during the Savvy Selections tasting panel. Sweet spice, subtle smoke, earthiness and ripe cherry and raspberry! Medium bodied with a fine silky texture, the lively acidity and fine tannins frame tangy red fruit which mingles with white pepper, sweet spice and a hint of capsicum. Great balance and a lively fruity finish! Can you tell that we love this wine?

Suggested Food Pairing:  A match for roast duck, pork with a burgundy sauce, or wild coho salmon.

Cellaring:  Enjoy now or over the next couple of years.


Northfield Cabernet Franc 2007 VQA $35.00

Planted in 2003, this vineyard benefits from the high plateau on which it is located, protected from frost and exposed to maximum seasonal sunshine, assuring full even ripening of the fruit. Once again, only the exceptional barrels were selected for this Grange wine. We are excited that Caroline had ‘just enough’ bottles of this wine to be included in Savvy Selections.  There are only 2 cases left!  If you would like more – contact Debbie sooner than later!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes:  Dry, medium bodied, this wine offers subtle aromas, ranging from floral, vanilla, cigar box and campfire smoke through dried cherries, berries and plum. Subtle notes of roasted red pepper and herbs mingle with vibrant red berry flavours. The well integrated tannins and lively acidity provide the structure for further aging, while appealing notes of sweet spice linger on the finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Simply put – Lamb anyone?

Cellaring: Delicious now, this wine will cellar a further 3-4 years

~ Recipes to enjoy with your Savvy Selections ~


With Trumpour’s Mill Chardonnay…

Perfect Lemon Roasted Chicken
Adapted from Anna & Michael Olson, Cook at Home
Serves 6

Ingredients
1 4 lb. roasting chicken
1 onion, sliced
2 lemons, sliced
2-4 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
Extra virgin olive oil for basting
Coarsely ground salt & pepper

Vinaigrette
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
2-4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. For chicken, preheat oven to 350F. Arrange half the onion slices, lemon slices and 1-2 cloves of garlic in a roasting pan just a few inches larger than the chicken. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and fill its cavity with the remaining onion, lemon and garlic. Insert rosemary sprigs into cavity. Baste chicken with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt & pepper.
  2.  Cover pan and roast for about 1 hour. Remove cover, baste chicken with juices from bottom of pan and continue roasting until an internal temperature of 175 F is reached (about 30-45 minutes more). Remove pan from oven and let chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  3. While chicken is resting, prepare vinaigrette. Strain onion, lemon and garlic from bottom of pan, saving juices to return to pan (discard vegetables). Place pan over medium heat and add lemon juice, stirring to pull up any caramelized bits. Stir in Dijon mustard and rosemary and remove from heat. Whisk in olive oil slowly and season to taste. Carve chicken and spoon vinaigrette over chicken.

 

With Diana’s Block Pinot Noir

Smoked Grilled Salmon
Lucy Waverman & James Chatto, A Matter of Taste
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
2 lb salmon fillet
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp dry mustard
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cracked peppercorns
Soaked cedar plank

Method

  1. Combine the maple syrup, dry mustard, salt & pepper and spread over salmon fillet. Marinate 30 minutes.
  2. Place a smoker basket with wood chips on BBQ coals. Heat grill over high heat until you see smoke.
  3. Place a soaked cedar plank on grill and leave for 3-4 minutes, or until you smell smoke. Immediately turn plank and place fish on top.
  4. Cover grill and cook salmon for 10-15 minutes, or until fish is just cooked. Cut salmon into serving portions on plank and slide off onto serving plates.

 

With Northfield Cabernet Franc…

Grilled Lamb Loin with Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette
Anna & Michael Olson, Cook at Home
Serves 12

Ingredients
12 boneless lamb loins, 6-7oz. each
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp cracked black pepper
¼ C extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp coarse salt

Vinaigrette

2/3 C diced sundried tomatoes
2/3 C chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
¼ C extra virgin olive oil
¼ C balsamic vinegar
¼ C water
Coarse salt & ground black pepper

Method

1.  For vinaigrette, purée all ingredients in a food processor & season to taste. Chill until ready to serve.

2.  For lamb, preheat grill to highest setting. Marinate the lamb in the garlic, thyme, pepper and oil at room temperature for 20 minutes. Add salt & place on grill. After 4 minutes, turn lamb over & reduce heat to medium. Cook 5 minutes for medium doneness.  

3.  To serve, slice the lamb loin into 5 pieces diagonally across the grain of the meat. Fan out them out, overlapping the slices on the plate and top with vinaigrette. Serve with boiled new potatoes and roasted root vegetable medley.

 Cheers & Enjoy this month’s Savvy Selections!

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